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What is a hip replacement?

Total hip replacement surgery also known as total hip replacement (THR) is one of the most common orthopedic surgery treatment in which diseased or damaged hip joint replaced with artificial hip joint (prosthesis) made from metal, plastic, ceramic or combination of them. Hip replacement surgery is a treatment option when conservative treatments have failed or are no longer effective. Patients who are suffering from arthritis damage, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fractured hip and and osteonecrosis are the primary candidates for the surgery.Hip replacement surgery can be performed to adults in any age who have chronic hip pain that prevents the daily life of the patient.

Hip replacement surgery caries out under the general anaesthesia. To perform the surgery the surgeon makes an incision into the hip and removes diseased and damaged bone and cartilage. 

After that implants the prosthetic socket into pelvic and implants the prosthetic ball on the top of femur bone. The surgery usually takes one and half hour. Usually 5 days of hospital stay required after the surgery. The recovery time may vary from patient to patient, but it lasts about 5 months.

  • Hip replacement can address hip pain and stiffness for people with arthritis, avascular necrosis or other forms of hip joint damage.
  • During a hip replacement surgery, an orthopaedic surgeon replaces both ends or one end of the damaged hip joint with artificial parts.
  • There are various surgical approaches to hip replacement surgery, including minimally invasive options that may be appropriate for some patients.
  • Recovery and rehabilitation help you restore mobility and return to activities with less pain.

Who can benefit from a hip replacement?

Your doctor may recommend hip replacement if you have significant pain, inflammation and damage to your hip joint due to conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis (most common)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis)
  • Injury such as hip fracture
  • Tumor in the hip joint

How do you know if you need a hip replacement?

When your quality of life suffers due to hip pain, it may be time for hip replacement. Signs of declining quality of life include:

  • Inability to get restful sleep because of pain
  • Difficulty doing simple tasks such as getting dressed or climbing stairs
  • Inability to fully participate in the activities you enjoy

Types of Hip Replacement Surgery

Several factors help determine the type of hip replacement you may need. Your doctor will consider each of the following when planning your care.

Total and Partial Hip Replacement: Which parts need to be replaced?

During total hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty), both the ball and the socket are replaced. A partial hip replacement only replaces the ball (the head of the femur).

Anterior, Posterior and Lateral Hip Replacement: How will the surgeon access the hip?

An orthopaedic surgeon can access the hip from different angles. Three common ways to access the hip joint are:

  • From the front (anterior approach to hip replacement)
  • From the side (lateral approach to hip replacement)
  • From the back (posterior approach to hip replacement)

Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

Minimally invasive hip replacement aims to minimize the impact of surgery on healthy tissues, such as muscles and blood vessels. While anterior hip replacement has been marketed as a minimally invasive approach, orthopaedic surgeons nowadays use minimally invasive techniques with all surgical approaches to access the hip. Your surgeon will discuss which approach might offer the best result.

When the surgery is minimally invasive, the surgeon accesses the hip joint though one or two small incisions by moving the muscles aside. This approach may have advantages, such as:

  • Lower risk of muscle damage
  • Less pain
  • Quicker and easier recovery
  • Less limping
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Lower chance of hip dislocation

Minimally invasive hip replacement is not appropriate for all patients. Your age, weight, fitness level and other factors will help the surgeon decide if you are a good candidate.

Traditional Hip Replacement

A traditional hip replacement includes a single, large incision that helps the surgeon gain access to the hip, usually through the side (lateral approach) or from the back (posterior approach).

Recovery from a traditional hip replacement can take time, because the surgeon needs to cut through or detach some muscles and tendons to get to the joint. (The muscles and tendons are repaired when the hip implants are in place.) You may be at risk for a dislocation until all of your new hip’s supportive structures are healed.

Discussing the Best Approach With Our Specialist

The surgical approach our doctor will recommend depends on several factors, including how the surgeon will gain access to the hip, the type and style of the implant and how it will be attached, and your age and activity level, and the shape and health of the hip bones. The likelihood of future surgery also figures into the decision, because some surgical approaches and types of implant attachment can make a revision surgery easier or more challenging.

As part of the evaluation for surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss the options of minimally invasive surgery or traditional hip replacement, as well as how he plans to perform the surgery and what type of implant will be used.